As many of my friends and family members know, I’m a bit of an exercise fiend. You know how some people have to drink their coffee or take an afternoon nap everyday to feel their best? Well, I need a good workout everyday to get me going. Nothing makes me feel more energized, healthy, and happy than sweating it out whether it’s sprinting in a spin class, twisting and bending in bikram yoga, pounding the pavement on a run, or lifting heavy things (but not too heavy) at the gym.
In recent years, boutique fitness studios have become massively popular, with studios like SoulCycle, Flywheel, Cyc Fitness (coming in April to Boston !!!), and Corepower opening outposts all over the country. I love to try new studios, not only to get ideas for some new moves that I can use during my own workouts but also to really test myself and see what’s out there and will get me in the best shape. I mean, there are so many fitness studios to try, so why not test them out? I’m a big fan of bootcamp workouts, so this weekend I tried Barry’s Bootcamp in downtown Boston. If you’ve never heard of Barry’s, it offers a combination of interval cardio treadmill routines and strength training using varied gear and weights. I heard that Barry’s was tough, so I had to give it a try.
Tough was an understatement. I went to the studio with a good friend from school and we both found that Barry’s thoroughly kicked our a$$es. I like to think of myself as a pretty in-shape person, but Barry’s made me second guess that within five minutes. The class is intense from start to finish and there was no one in the room who wasn’t dripping with sweat. Weekend classes are full body (as opposed to weekday classes which focus on specific body parts, like arms one day or abs another day), so we worked every muscle in our bodies, including those that we didn’t know existed. For me, the most challenging aspect of the class was the treadmill routine, which included inclines up to level 14, sprints up to 12mph (there was no way I was doing that, I maxed out at 9mph), side shuffles, and backwards running. Yes, you read that right. We ran backwards. That one made me concerned for our safety, but we were #blessed not to fall off the treadmills.
Logistically, there are about 20 treadmills lines up along a mirror and 25 floor spots with benches. I’m sorry that I have no pictures to offer; phones aren’t brought into the actual workout room and it would have been too sketchy if I had gone in after to snap a pic. When you sign up, you pick a treadmill or floor spot to start out on, say F6 or T6. We started on the floor, so our workout began with roughly 5 minutes of strength training while the treadmill group ran it out on their machines. After the time was up, we switched with the treadmillers and they performed the floor routine that we did while we repeated their treadmill workout. There were three or four switches throughout the class, during all of which I had to force myself not to lay down and die. Another motivator was that six members of a nearby university’s soccer team were also in the class. And they took their shirts off. And all was right with the world. To say that this made it a little difficult to concentrate on the workout would be an understatement. Alas, we survived without drooling too much over the athletes.
In addition to the soccer players aka models aka gods, everyone who attended our class was between the ages of 20 and 30 and was absolutely gorgeous. If you’re ever wondering where to find the beautiful people of Boston, go to Barry’s and you’ll be set for life. Everyone was so freaking fit it was scary (but also #motivating). I guess middle-aged people don’t want to run backwards on treadmills or sprint at 12mph? Can’t imagine why… Anywho, after the workout we showered up and hit up the Fuel Bar at Barry’s for smoothies, which did not disappoint and were exactly what we needed after our literal a$$ whooping.
All things considered, I will definitely be returning to Barry’s Bootcamp. The workout was intense but so worth it and as I write this my arms are kind of shaking from the strength training. Our instructor was friendly but tough on the attendees, motivating us to push ourselves to our limits. The music was loud, pounding, and invigorating. If you’re looking to challenge yourself, get your butt whooped, or get a six pack, I highly recommend Barry’s for a workout that will leave you sore in the best way.